September 21, 2020

Alarm Systems

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Security systems do deter a burglar from breaking into your house. However, If someone wants to get into your house bad enough, they will find a way to do it. The trick is to make it as difficult as possible so he finds an easier target. The ‘professional’ burglars are aware of the different types of systems and how they work. They are also aware of how to get around them.

Basically there are two types of home security systems.

One type, called a monitored system, alerts a central notification centre once the alarm has been tripped and this centre then checks in with the homeowner to see if everything is ok by calling. The call centre is alerted through the phone wires. A professional burglar will locate the outdoor phone wires that are exposed and cut them. By doing this, the information centre is never alerted and the burglar is free to enter the home. However, if the phone line is inaccessible and run underground, the thieves can’t tamper with the telephone line until after they have broken in – which is too late for them. An alternative is to purchase a cellular alarm system, which will not allow thieves to tamper with the transmission of the alarm signal.

One disadvantage to having a monitored system is that even after the alarm has been triggered, it gives the burglar time to still get into your house, steal some valuables and escape undetected. This can happen because typically once the alarm has been set the security company waits for approximately 30 – 45 seconds before contacting the homeowner by phone to receive the correct password. They wait this long to allow the homeowner to deactivate the alarm if it is a false alarm. If the monitoring company does not receive the correct password, or the phone is not answered, they then contact the police. By the time the police arrive at least 1-2 minutes has passed. An experienced thief can make off with quite a few of your valuables in that short amount of time.

The other type of alarm system is one that makes a loud siren- like noise inside and outside the house alerting neighbors. These are called unmonitored systems. The responsibility to contact authorities then rests on your neighbours. With this type of alarm system, it is best to also include flashing lights so people are well aware of where the alarm is coming from. The advantage to having this type of system is that burglars often become deterred when the sirens and lights start blaring. Their goal is to get in and get out with some loot and without being noticed. This is really tricky to do once the alarm has been tripped. A disadvantage of this type of alarm is that your neighbours must be home and willing to get involved by calling the authorities. This type of alarm is also not made for those who live in an isolated area of the countryside or whose neighbours are not close by.

I hope this has not deterred you from installing an alarm system in your house but you do need to consider that no system is burglar proof and the better ones are more expensive. One good thing is most insurance companies lower your premiums for robbery if you do have an alarm system they approve.

A basic security system will cost about $1,000. If you choose to have it monitored, there is an additional monthly fee for this service.

Make sure that your package includes: control panel, keypad, siren, motion detectors inside and outside and door and window contacts. You can add other accessories to your package, but all systems should include the above-mentioned items.

See how quickly they can install your system after it has been purchased. You do not want to hire a company that can sell their systems faster than they can install them and be sure to get information on their warranty. Ask about their screening process for installers. Installers should have a criminal background check completed on them.

Call the RCIPS to find out what their response time is to home security alarms. You may be surprised by their answer. Also check to see if there are any fines associated with false alarms.

Nothing replaces good old-fashioned safety and intelligence. Lock your doors and windows when the house is vacant; leave lights on inside and outside and keep valuables in a very safe place – maybe even outside of the home.

 

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